Recipe: Apple of your eye...

In her weekly column, Mercy Fenton shares this tasty recipe for Bramley Apple and Hazelnut Tart
Recipe: Apple of your eye...
Apple, Hazel and Brandy tart by Mercy Fenton.

This is an absolutely delicious apple tart — the base remains firm due to the hazelnut puree layer and the bramley apples, which are moist and full of flavour. The addition of the nut brown custard and toasted hazelnuts give a very impressive result, with very little effort. You can email Mercy Fenton at

Bramley Apple & Hazelnut Tart

Sweet Pastry


300gr flour

150gr butter

60gr sugar

6gr salt

2 eggs


  • Mix flour, sugar and butter to crumb, add in the eggs and salt and mix lightly.
  • Turn onto board and work enough to bring together.
  • Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour or so.
  • Grease a 9 inch flan ring.
  • Roll out the pastry approx. 1½ in larger than the flan ring.
  • Carefully place the pastry on the flan ring.
  • Push well into the corners, line with parchment paper and rest for half an hour.
  • Fill with baking beans and bake at 175C until golden all over.
  • When cooked, remove baking parchment and brush the pastry case with raw egg yolk, place back in the oven for two or three minutes, this will help seal the pastry and keep it crisp.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150C.

Tart Filling


Hazelnut Layer

55gr blanched toasted hazelnuts

30gr egg (half an egg)

50gr soft light brown sugar


  • In a food processor, pulse together the ingredients for the hazelnut layer (to a slightly rough paste) then spread carefully over the pre-cooked tart base.
  • Bake at 150C for 10 to 12 minutes until set and golden.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside whilst you make the custard.
  • Increase oven temperature to 175C



700gr prepared bramley apple, cut into cubes

3 free range eggs

25gr cream flour

175gr caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp brandy

25gr blanched toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

150gr unsalted butter, cooked to nut brown

½ tsp salt

Finely grated zest of half a lemon

Nut Brown Butter

The most important part of this recipe is the nut brown butter, for this amount I used an 8in round non stick frying pan, if you are unsure about it try doing it in two batches in a smaller pan.

Melt the butter in a wide pot or frying pan over a medium-low heat, swirling to help it along. It will foam and (as a chef once explained to me, it will sing — listen carefully!)

Once the foam has died down, (it stops singing) watch it like a hawk; as soon as the solids at the bottom turn light-coloured from white to toasty brown and the butter smells almost nutty, tip into a bowl to cool.


Next, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, brandy, sugar, and flour until smooth. Once cooled add the butter, mix well and then add the lemon zest. Set aside to thicken.

Toss together the apple, and Toasted hazelnuts and pile evenly onto the cooked hazelnut layer.

Pour over the prepared custard; shake gently to allow the custard to sink through the apple.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and set.

Serve warm with whipped cream.

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